Just Me

written by Tom Krause

I received this poem from a player I coached who is now coaching–Jake Despot.

From the time I was little, I knew I was great
’cause the people would tell me- “you’ll make it- just wait.”
But they never did tell me how great I would be
If I ever played someone who was greater than me.

When I’m in my backyard–I’m king with the ball.
To swish all those baskets is no sweat at all.
But all of a sudden there’s a man in my face
Who doesn’t seem to realize-I’m king of this place.

So the pressure gets to me- I rush with the ball.
My passes to teammates could fly through the wall.
My jumper’s not falling-my dribble’s not sure.
My hand is not steady-my eye is not pure.

The fault is my teammates-they don’t understand.
The fault is my coach’s-what a terrible plan.
The fault is the call by that blind referee
But the fault is not mine–I’m the greatest you see.

Then finally it hits me when I started to see
That the face in the mirror looks exactly like me.
It wasn’t my teammates who were dropping the ball
And it wasn’t my coach shooting bricks at the wall.

That face in the mirror that was always so great
Had some room for improvement–instead of just hate.
So I stopped blaming others and I started to grow.
My play got much better and it started to show.

And all of my teammates didn’t seem quite so bad.
I learned to depend on the good friends I had.
Now I like myself better since I started to see-
I was lousy being great–I’m much better being me.

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